Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeff Merrell, announced today that TONY FRIEND, DOB: 12/22/1967, of Springfield, Missouri, was sentenced this morning, February 13, 2014, to two life sentences, in the Taney County Circuit Court. Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr sentenced Friend to life in prison without parole on each count of first-degree murder.

Friend pleaded guilty to two (2) counts of murder in the first degree, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, on December 17, 2013. In exchange for Friend’s guilty pleas, two (2) counts of armed criminal action and two (2) counts of felonious restraint were dismissed. The only sentence for murder in the first degree is life in prison without the possibility of parole. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Friend’s life sentences are to be concurrent.

Tony Friend was indicted by a Taney County grand jury in 2012 on those felonies for his role in the disappearance and deaths of Russell and Rebecca Porter, of Willard, Missouri, occurring April 18, 2011. Tony’s son, Phillip Friend, previously pled guilty to murder in the second degree and felonious restraint. Tony’s wife, Windy Friend, still faces first-degree murder charges, along with Dusty Hicks, and Robert Campbell. The trials for Windy Friend, Dusty Hicks, and Robert Campbell are currently scheduled for 2014.